Hartlepool United’s ‘Hot Rod’ Devante Rodney deserved his goal, says Craig Harrison

Devante Rodney.
Devante Rodney.

“Rodney you dispstick”.

That was a taunt from one member of the packed crowd at Mariners Park to Hartlepool United forward Devante Rodney.

It raised a titter, of course it did, even though the fan forgot the Only Fools and Horses line is actually “plonker”.

But the last laugh belonged to Rodney himself after he bagged his first goal of the season to bring Pools level against South Shields in a belter of a fourth qualifying round contest after Carl Finnigan had put the hosts ahead in the first half .

The teenager had fluffed his lines a couple of times of late, notably at Wrexham and against Eastleigh, failing when one-on-one with the keeper.

However, there were no such dramas on Saturday, when he showed incredible composure to slot his right-foot shot into Jack Norton’s bottom left corner.

It was the first time he has found the back of the net since the dramatic double against Doncaster on the final day of last season when he almost kept Pools in the Football League.

This was pretty vital too as his goal inspired the comeback which was completed by a Nicky Deverdics thunderbolt of a free-kick.

“Devante deserved his goal,” said Harrison. “He’s had some great opportunities in the last four to five games.

“He could have had five goals to his name by now quite easily.

“It was a great finish and credit to Devante and the staff.

“They have worked hard with young forwards on their finishing and talking to them about finishing.

“Sometimes you don’t need to whack the skin off it, he’s opened his body out well and he’s side-footed it into the corner of the net.

“It’s a great finish and I’m so pleased for him. He’s worked hard and over the last five or six games has been excellent.”

The boss added: “Devs has so much quality on set-plays I do expect him to do that every two or three games.

“What a great time to score his first goal for me!”